Column: Workout with no equipment


Commentary by Seth Tucker

It is sometimes necessary to maintain your strength and fitness without access to a gym or equipment. With only your body and a little space to move in, you can improve your overall health without issue. Try this routine for a simple but effective workout.

Burpee (for an easier version, try four sets of 15 reps. For a harder version, try three sets of 25 reps):

From a standing position with feet close together, crouch down and place your hands just outside and in front of your feet. Keeping your hands planted, jump backward with your feet so that you are extended in a full pushup position in what would be the top of a pushup. From there, perform a pushup while maintaining a neutral head, neck and spine. That is, avoid letting your hips sag down or push up in the air. You should maintain a straight line from your ankles to your head, keeping your core engaged. Keep your elbows tucked in closer to your body and avoid flaring them out to reduce the risk of injury.

After you do a full pushup and are at the top of the pushup position, you will reverse the initial jump-back motion by keeping your hands planted and jumping forward with your feet so they land just behind your hands. Immediately jump up while reaching straight above. Upon landing, come all the way down to the crouched position with your hands just outside your feet and repeat the process. Rest 90 to 120 seconds between each set.

If you are unable to perform proper pushups with your legs fully extended, simply do the pushup portion of the burpee from your knees. You should still maintain proper form as described.

Bird Dog: Three sets of eight reps each side (for an easier version, try a 5-second hold. For a harder version, try a 10-second hold)

Get down on hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips. Your head should be in line with your back and hips to keep your entire torso parallel to the ground. Extend your right arm out and your left leg straight out behind you. Both limbs should be at or just below parallel with the ground. Keep your hips and shoulders parallel with the ground through the whole movement. Hold the top of the position for 5 to 10 seconds, then slowly lower to the starting position. Alternate sides. Rest 90 to 120 seconds between each set.


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